THE campaign to save the historic Crosfield’s church bell looks set to be a success following fund-raising activities over the weekend.
Warrington Civic Society launched an urgent fundraising appeal to save the historic Crosfield Bell which was recently removed from the bell tower at St Thomas’ Church in Stockton Heath and been valued at £10,000.
Members of the Civic Society were involved in fund-raising activities over the weekend, raising over £300 from bag packing at the M&S store in the village. Meanwhile youngsters at the Ferry Link Club in Thelwall chipped in with £50 raised from making bell biscuits.
There was also a £100 donation from Walton Parish Council and then a pledge of £2,000 from The Colonel Edelsten Bequest fund – a trust fund in Warrington to support the arts, culture and heritage.
Colonel John Arthur Edelsten (1863-1931), known mainly for his distinguished military career, was also a generous benefactor to Warrington Museum.
Chairman John Shipley said: “With all the other pledges this should just about push us over the line for the deposit and secure the Crosfield Bell.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped out with fund-raising especially everyone who gave up their Saturday afternoon fund-raising in the village and to M&S for allowing us to do a bag pack.”
The church bell was donated by John Crosfield in 1883 in memory of his wife Eliza who passed away in 1882. The 133 year old bell was at risk of being melted down unless the Civic Society could raise the much needed funds to save this local piece of history.
It has not seen active service for decades and is being replaced by 10 ringing bells from another church.
The bell is currently the property of specialist contractors John Taylor & Co from Loughborough – the same company who installed it, who took ownership as part of the costs of renovation works at the church. They gave the Civic Society a deadline of February 12 to secure half the funds as a deposit on the bell.
It is hoped the bell can be re-homed at The Walton Lea Partnership, a charity providing individual learning and skills development and supported employment to adults with learning disabilities.
The charity has offered to re-home the bell in their Victorian Walled Garden which is based in what remains of the Crosfield Mansion, thus bringing the bell back to the home of the Crosfield Family and giving their many visitors the opportunity to admire the bell at close quarter.
Further donations to help reach the full amount required to purchase the bell can be made at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/SaveTheBell